Ever since the passage of Amendment 64 just over one year ago, all eyes have settled upon Colorado to see how, and if, this unprecedented new law will be successfully implemented into.
With the first recreational pot stores slated to open their doors on January 1, 2014, right now the Colorado government and local regulatory agencies are putting the final touches on the state’s pot policy.
Earlier this month, Colorado voters decidedly passed a measure approving the taxation of the state’s legal marijuana market. The steep tax—a 15% assessment on the wholesale price of retail marijuana, on top of the 10% sales tax and 2.9% state sales tax—will no doubt bring significant change to the local economy—although exactly how significant remains unclear.
Predicting the amount of revenue taxation will bring to the state government is difficult since there is uncertainty about demand. Early projections ranged as high as $2 billion in the first five years, but some analysts estimate the added income to only be around $60 million annually. Forty million of it is already earmarked for education.
In terms of public safety, there is growing concern over the usage of marijuana in public places, or being used recklessly.
Amendment 64 states that Colorado residents 21 years of age and older may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, which they can legally consume in the privacy of their own homes. However, the law expressly forbids the consumption of marijuana that “is conducted openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others.”
While the law is clear in this matter, confusion has already cropped up in the barely two-week-old ski season. According to a Summit Daily report, several visitors to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area have had their passes revoked because of public consumption of marijuana.
It’s hardly a secret that pot-usage has been widely embraced by some skiers and snowboarders well before Colorado voters approved its recreational use last year, yet many government officials and business owners, like A-Basin general manager Alan Henceroth, are concerned that the problems they’ve encountered already are just the start.
“We at ArapahoeBasin would like to see Amendment 64 work in the way Colorado voters intended it to,” says Henceroth. “The law allows limited use of marijuana and does not allow consumption in public. ArapahoeBasin is a public place and marijuana use is not allowed here.”
Other ski industry officials are calling for greater education on Colorado’s new marijuana laws, so visitors know that consuming pot openly is as illegal as drinking alcohol in public (or on the ski slopes) .
Since marijuana, like alcohol, has a negative effect on a person’s reaction time and coordination, improper usage can lead to injury-causing accidents on ski slopes, or serious auto collisions when behind the wheel.
Make sure you are fully educated on Colorado’s new marijuana policies by reading Amendment 64, and contact Denver personal injury attorney R. Mack Babcock if someone under the influence of marijuana causes you or a loved one injury or damage.